Did you know . . . Cambodia is growing!
While Cambodia is a fast-developing country, many people may not be aware of how quickly Cambodia has grown in recent years. Since 2011, the country has seen a 25% increase in tourism, which amounts to 3,584,307 million visitors in 2012.
With this extraordinary growth, people may question the development of its economy due to the high increase in the number of visitors. The poverty rate from 1993 to 2011 has decreased from 47.5% to about 23% , which shows a significant rise in the general standard of living. Much of this change can be credited to the stabilization of the government and safety in Cambodia.
Despite this increase in tourism, however, a third of Cambodia’s population still live below the national poverty line, which is US$0.61 per day. Among people who are poor, 92% of them live in rural areas.
While Siem Reap has increased work opportunities from the growth in tourism, some of the students we work with don’t believe they have the skills and contacts to access these jobs.
The goal of our programs like Dream Classes is to build the confidence of young people so they are motivated to access future job opportunities. Keep your eyes out for news on our first ever Skills Fair that we’re organizing in Kralanh High School in June. The event will connect students with organizational representatives from different sectors, including universities, socially responsible businesses and tourism.
Our PEPY family has experienced the gap between the economic growth in the country and educational development in rural communities. We’d love to hear your ideas or stories of other initiatives that have improved students’ access to university, skills or employment.